Shoot For Total-Body Strength With The Rolling Pistol Squat

Take aim at every muscle group with the rolling pistol squat, your best shot at a high-calibre power upgrade. Prepare to fire.

Michael Jennings, Photography by Philip Haynes |

The season of mirror muscles is here. Long sleeves will eventually become a necessity, so now is a good time to think about training for strength, not size. Think of it as laying strong foundations for future gains. But before you set your sights on a double-bodyweight back squat, allow us to suggest a move that doesn’t require queuing for a free rack and is a lot gentler on your joints: the weighted rolling pistol.

“Along with the full-body flexion, it’s a very advanced single-leg squat variation,” says PT Andy Vincent. The full-body flexion means you’re using every muscle to stand up. Plus, by working on one leg, you engage all the smaller stabiliser muscles, as well as the large ones in your legs.

You have to go slow, too. Vincent warns against blasting through reps. Instead, focus on a full range of motion and time under tension. Work up to three sets of six reps on each side to kick-start your progress and let the good times roll.

1. Get Set

rolling, pistol, squat

Lying on your back with one leg off the floor, position the heel of your other foot close to your glutes and keep it flat on the ground. Hold a weight plate behind your head for counterbalance.

2. Crunch Time

Take a deep breath, then work your core. With your arms held out straight, perform a rapid crunch, rolling your shoulder blades and mid-back off the floor fast. Keep that foot up.

Related: The Core-Crushing Workout That Will Supercharge Your Abs

3. Balancing Act

Hold your arms in front of you as your weight transfers to your foot. Ensure the load stays evenly distributed from your heel to your toe, and the centre of your knee stays in line with the middle of your foot.

4. Stand Tall

For your parting shot, drive through the floor to bring your body up and stand. As you reach the top, squeeze your glutes to finish the move with your hips. Now, slowly sit back into the squat and roll down under control. Reload, and go again.

Related: Turn Up The HIIT With This Intense Partner Workout

READ MORE ON: advice build muscle exercise Fitness guy wisdom motivation Muscle strength workout

Copyright © 2021 Rodale Inc.
Subscribe for notification